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When we first set out to write our review of the Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector we were very tempted to give it a ZERO rating right from the start and here's why ...

Our first step towards researching this heavily-advertised dark spot corrector was to head on over to their website to find an ingredient list that we could evaluate and further use to base our final rating upon, but lo-and-behold there were no ingredients to be found, not one mention of a single ingredient anywhere on their entire website.

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​​How can a skin care manufacturer expect consumers to purchase a product that is supposed to be routinely applied to the face and body and yet they do not have an ingredient list available on the product details page, that's just baffling to us! We've researched a lot of dark spot removers and correctors over the years and this is definitely a first... "COME ON Clinique, people NEED to know what's in it"

So we dug a little deeper and jumped on their live chat where we chatted with an individual by the name of Elizabeth, we asked her if she could supply us with a list of ingredients, and we were quite surprised when she replied back saying that "she did not have access to that information" but she did say that it is a "Prescription-Strength formula clinically proven to lighten dark spots", when asked exactly what she meant by "Prescription-Strength formula" her reply was "the formula is comparable to a leading prescription ingredient renowned for its ability to significantly reduce the appearance dark spots".

Well of course that got our curiosity peaked and we wanted to know more, so we asked Elizabeth what the "prescription ingredient" is that she was referring to and her reply was "I'm sorry but regrettably I do not have that information either"​

By now you can probably understand our frustration and see why we were tempted to give Clinique Dark Spot Corrector a poor review rating

Anyway, we put our initial frustration aside and pushed forward digging even deeper into our research and after a few phone calls we were finally able to obtain an ingredient list directly from Clinique's Consumer Communications Department. We delved into the list along with the information that we had gathered from numerous other sources to see if we could determine which ingredients comprised of the so called "Prescription-Strength formula".

Here's what we were able to come come up with ...

Department heads over at Clinique claim that their dark spot corrector is comparable to 4% hydroquinone (which is available only by prescription) for evening out skin tone and lightening dark spots, they go on to say that the reason for this is largely due to the key ingredients that make up their unique complex known as CL-302 complex. (SOURCE:

A lot of these big skin care companies love to use scientific jargon like "CL-302 complex", it's marketing hype and it's proven to help sell products, but we don't buy into hype, we'd rather they just tell us what the ingredients are and we'll make our decisions from there.

What are the key skin lightening Ingredients? 

After a few hours of sleuthing we were able to determine that Clinique's CL-302 complex is a composition of five simple ingredients:

  • Dianella Ensifolia plant extracts
  • ascorbic glucoside (a form of vitamin C)
  • blackout yeast
  • salicylic acid
  • glucosamine

Admittedly these few ingredients are scientifically sound and proven to have some skin lightening effects but quite frankly there really is nothing earth shattering about them in fact we could list several other dark spot correctors on the market that incorporate the same ingredients. However, Clinique has been quoted as saying that these ingredients (when combined) "compare to the effects of hydroquinone for evening out skin tone". We think this is a very BOLD claim and one that requires proof.

Did we get our proof?

As expected, we Did Not get our proof... the clinical studies in which Clinique ascertains proof of comparable efficacy to that of hydroquinone have not been made public and therefore it's anybody's guess as to how these studies were conducted, what protocols were incorporated and how reliable the results are. There are many ways to skew results of clinical studies and without publicly publishing the details of the studies for our own evaluation we are going to assume that the results were likely skewed in their favor. 

Don't trust all the reviews you find online!

We respect the opinions of others and do our best to be transparent and unbiased, in doing so we gather up user reviews that have been placed on 3rd party sites that have NO affiliation or monatary connection to the product or manufacturer.

If you conduct your own search for "Clinique dark spot corrector reviews" you'll find a great deal of glowing reviews touting the product as almost being miraculous but we caution you to take notice of exactly where those reviews are coming from, you'll find that in almost all cases the majority of those reviews are coming from websites that have some sort of monetary connection either as the manufacturer, a retailer, or even a PAID review platform.

YES, some review sites are actually paid to do review products or paid to post product reviews and you can be assured that the reviews are skewed to be in favor otherwise the manufacturers would not continue do business with them. Also some companies actually pay people to write reviews and go around post them wherever possible ... Yes, it's unfortunate but this is the Internet! (Disclaimer: we are not accusing Clinique of conducting such practices we are only bringing this practice to your attention)

Consumer Complaints

As mentioned above we are in favor of 3rd party review sites that have NO monetary connection to the product or its manufacturer and as such we have posted a (very small) sampling of negative reviews that we think you'll find interesting.

Product Review: Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector

2 star rating
Clinique dark spot corrector customer complaints
VERDICT: Not recommended by us!

Although Clinique's dark spot corrector may produce positive results for some people and we agree that the ingredients that make up their proprietary CL-302 complex are in fact documented and proven to have some skin lightening effects, we don't agree that the complex would be comparable to that of a prescribed hydroquinone based product and we have yet to see any real concrete evidence of such a claim. 

Also we can't get past the amount of negative reviews that we were able to dig up online and more importantly the severity of adverse reactions that so many consumers have reported. This leaves us to believe that Clinique's skin lightening formula leaves much to be desired... 

...With that said we could not possibly recommend this product!

Thank you for reading our review of the Clinique dark spot corrector - if you require further information on any of Clinique's products you can contact their Consumer Communications Department directly toll-free at 1-866-707-2100 during regular business hours Monday through Friday or by email at [email protected]

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